Concerns about side effects or faith in vaccine ‘reasons’

Image copyright KQIE Image caption Parents tend to be less likely to vaccinate if there are religious exemptions

Two-thirds of parents in Toronto are very or somewhat certain they will get their children vaccinated against the new two-strain flu strain called COVID-19, a survey has found.

Public Health Ontario surveyed about 2,500 parents of children under the age of five.

It said that of parents who had accepted a religious exemption to vaccination, 65% said they would still get their children vaccinated despite that.

COVID-19 is expected to be a harder strain to contract this year.

Media headlines have told of children in Texas and Texas caused Legionnaires’ disease, and Oregon and California having an extremely high reported number of respiratory tract infections among young children.

So, what are the most common reasons people cite for opting out of vaccination?

Many people say they are concerned about the fear of side effects, or whether the vaccine is a good idea. Only one parent asked did so on their child’s behalf.

Image copyright KQIE Image caption Vaccines are generally safe, and there have been only a few reported side effects such as fever and pain

Other responses cited by parents include the feeling it is against their religion to vaccinate or even fear of infection; the belief their children are missing out on a fun day at the park without the vaccination; and the fear that the flu vaccine is only administered at the very end of the flu season, and their children may not get a shot before then.

Other responses did not come from parents or guardians but rather other family members or family friends. Some questioned the validity of the flu vaccination as stated in the online survey.

Roughly a third of parents surveyed said the main reason they would not get their children vaccinated was based on factual concerns, the company that commissioned the survey said.

Image copyright KQIE Image caption In 2016, a national survey found 44% of parents did not vaccinate their children against three strains of the flu

Image copyright KQIE Image caption Flu vaccination rates in Canada were good overall, with around three-quarters of parents saying they were “very or somewhat likely” to vaccinate their children.

Another notable feature of the survey was the parents’ willingness to include their children in the vaccination decision.

A total of 62% said they would request vaccinations from their doctors for their children.

In 2016, a national survey found 44% of parents of children aged one to five did not vaccinate their children against three strains of the flu.

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